Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 2010

Dear Girls,

November is the beginning of the holiday season. Winter is teasing us as fall retreats into oblivion. Thanksgiving comes with food and festivity. Christmas is suddenly right around the corner...

There are so many things to talk about and do this month. One of the biggest things for JOY is what is going to go in YOU. We have a survey going on right now. The top three things people want to see in YOU so far are:

1. Uses for everyday items
2. Stories about girls
3. An Ask Grandma column

Some other ideas are book reviews, movie reviews, fun facts, history or Bible facts, useful crafts, and activities. What do you think? Tell us what you want to see in YOU. Go to the JOY contact page to subscribe for email updates, vote for your favorite ideas, and tell us what else you'd like to see.

Have a great time reading and Give Thanks this Thanksgiving!

JOY authors

P.S. One more thing, girls, this month, November is the first Anniversary for JOY Blog. One year ago JOY Blog was created! So…Happy First Anniversary JOY Blog!!!

Devo-Give Thanks in All Circumstances…

Give Thanks in All Circumstances…

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

It’s the end of October and Halloween is over. Then comes November… You go to the store and not only is all of the Halloween stuff almost gone, but they are restocking the shelves. You might think it would be with Thanksgiving things. But you probably all know already that they are not putting out Thanksgiving stuff. All the Christmas items are now on display! And no, I am not putting down Christmas ‘cause I LOVE Christmas, and I am not saying that stores have NO Thanksgiving things, I am just making the point that we sometimes seem to forget and push aside Thanksgiving, other than the turkey and trimmings! AND we push away the meaning.

On that very first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims thanked the Indians, but most importantly they gave thanks to God.

The Bible calls us to give thanks and to be thankful. One of my favorite verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:18. I like that this verse says ‘IN’, not ‘for’. If you look above at the verse, it tells you to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. There are some difficult things in all our lives that are tough to be thankful for- like someone dying, but we can still be thankful if we know that person was a Christian and is with Christ now. God with us and working through the tough situations help us to give thanks IN everything.

We all have much to be thankful for. This year try to recognize your many blessings. And as Thanksgiving approaches, think of all the people in your life and think of why God has placed them in your life and why you are thankful for them. Then give thanks. Give thanks to God for putting them there and then give thanks to the people for the impact they have made in your life.

Learn to be thankful! Remember that giving thanks should not only be on Thanksgiving, but all year around!


Add Your Comment Here...November 2010

This year, I am especially thankful for…

By Faith...Todd MacDonell

By Faith-Todd MacDonell 

Almost one month ago, October 13, a man that lived “by Faith” died. Todd MacDonell was 48 years old. He was married and had two daughters. He lived in a town near me and was the pastor of a local church.

I had not known this man very long. He had recently gotten involved in the political arena which I had also gotten involved in. Then at the end of the summer, he started getting sick. He had a disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is a disease that causes your brain to deteriorate. After the diagnosis, Pastor MacDonell lived only a few short weeks longer. Today he is with Jesus, his Savior and Lord.

But even though many feel his life was cut short and even though I did not even know him long, he was a man that made a difference. He lived his faith daily. You could see his hope, the hope of salvation, in his eyes. And he was bold. He lived boldly for Christ. He stood up for what was right and made an impact on every person that crossed his path.

His memorial service was unlike any I had ever been to before. We were able to celebrate his life here on earth, yet also rejoice that he is now with our Savior.

Hebrews 11:39-40 says, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect”. I believe this means that only in Heaven are we truly rewarded for living “by faith” here. I want to remind you of how a life can be cut short by our standards, yet God knows everything and has a perfect plan for all of us. I also want you to remember to make every day count. Live each day like it is your last, because it may be, and above all, give your life to Christ. He is waiting for you to open the door. He is waiting for you to allow Him access to your life.

As Thanksgiving draws near, give thanks for all of the people that have made a difference in your life. Thank God for them and then thank them for being there for you, because you never know when your last chance to do that will be. Pastor Todd’s death made me realize that you should never take those people who have been there for you for granted. Thank them now!


Helping in the Harvest: Operation Christmas Child

Helping in the Harvest: Operation Christmas Child

One late fall afternoon, my brother stumbled upon something in a ditch on the side of the road. He thought it was just a piece of trash, but took a closer look anyway. As he picked it up, he got a real thrill. It wasn’t just a piece of trash, but a $20 bill!

About that time, our family was getting ready to do one of our favorite traditions- packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, works to bring joy and the good news of Jesus to needy children all over the world. To do this, volunteers pack empty shoeboxes full of new toys and treats for children who might not otherwise get a Christmas gift.

Usually, everyone in my family will pitch in money and we’ll pack a shoebox together. This year, my brother had another idea. He decided to use the $20 he had found to pack another shoebox full of goodies. My family had fun picking out things for both shoeboxes. We picked out coloring books, crayons, pencils, toothbrushes, soap, dolls, stuffed animals, toy cars, bouncy balls, lollipops, yo-yos and any other thing else we could afford.

When we got home, we packed everything in our 2 designated shoeboxes. After we wrapped and labeled each one (marking what age and gender child the toys inside were best for), we added a little note wishing the child who received each box a “Merry Christmas”. Before we dropped them off at one of the drop-off locations, we prayed over the boxes, the workers who would deliver them, and the children who would receive them.

I love my family’s tradition of giving to others during what is sometimes the most selfish time of the year. Sometimes I get focused only on what I want for Christmas this time of year, but packing a shoebox for a child, who might have never received a gift before, puts things into perspective. Remembering that for a child, receiving a shoebox is often the first step for them to come to know God really takes the focus off of myself and puts it on the One whom Christmas is really about.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”

How to Help
This year, Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection week is
November 15-22.
To find a drop-off location for your shoebox, go to:

What better way to give than by packing a shoebox for a child in need? You could pack a box with your family or friends, or get really creative and throw a shoebox-packing party! Follow the guidelines to packing a shoebox at: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Pack_A_Shoe_Box/
Packing a shoebox isn’t the only way to give. You can help spread the word about Operation Christmas Child or go to https://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/Giving/Project_Donations/ to donate to Operation Christmas Child or other ministries of Samaritan’s Purse.

This is a great way to help if you don’t pack a shoebox- or even if you do. You can pray especially for the workers who travel and work hard to get the boxes into the hands of children, and for the children themselves. If you want to be really involved, go to http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/1khours and pledge your prayers for Operation Christmas Child by choosing a day and time slot to pray during National Collection week. To find additional prayer requests go to: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/Pray/pray_occ

Narnia Fans
Just like in Narnia, where it was always winter and they didn’t have Christmas until Aslan came; there are children in our world who never have the joy of Christmas until they have the love of Jesus. They are shown Christ’s love when the gift of a lovingly packed shoebox comes to them. Operation Christmas Child is partnering with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to encourage Narnia Fans to fill shoeboxes and make a difference in the lives of impoverished children around the world. Check out Operation Narnia at http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/operation_narnia/

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
Matthew 18:5


Five uses for…Baking Soda

Five uses for…Baking Soda

1. Get rid of icky smells on your hands –If you cut up an onion or something left a bad smell on your hands, rub about 2 tsp. of baking soda on your hands to get rid of the smell.

2. Remove coffee or tea stains – Take a damp cloth and dip it in baking soda to create a paste. Then rub the paste on the stained cups or tea pots!

3. Clean up baby spit-up – For you babysitters or big sisters out there, the next time the baby spits-up on you, wipe it off your shirt, then take a damp cloth dipped in baking soda and rub it on the spot. It will not only take the stink away, but will keep it from staining your clothes!

4. Remove crayon from the wall.

5. Deodorize anything

Baking soda can polish, deodorize, and remove stains from all kinds of things. Try it out!